Eighty-five babies under the age of 1 have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus in one Texas county.
The test results were confirmed in Nueces County, on the Gulf Coast, as the state grapples with a surge in new COVID-19 cases, CNN reported Saturday.
“We currently have 85 babies under the age of one year in Nueces County that have all tested positive for COVID-19,” Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces County, told CNN.
“These babies have not even had their first birthday yet,” she said. “Please help us stop the spread of this disease.”
Texas is among about two dozen states fighting rapid increases in infections after quickly reopening their economies, along with states like Florida, Arizona and Oklahoma.
The Nueces County Medical Examiner Adel Shaker said last week that a baby boy less than 6 months old died after testing positive for the virus, the Texas Tribune reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns data show infants younger than 12 months could be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to older children.
But it also said data on such cases is “limited.”
Cases across the whole of Texas have risen rapidly since mid-June.
The state set a record on Thursday when it reported more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases.
Nearly 326,000 Texans have tested positive for the virus and more than 3,800 have died as of Saturday night, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Texas Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquín Castro sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott Friday urging him to scale back Texas’ reopening and allow local jurisdictions to craft their own stay-at-home policies
“We need to provide local authority to local counties and cities to do what is in the best interest of their communities,” they wrote.